The Nokia Morph – Beyond Future

The Nokia company is presenting a new concept device called the Morph that would be right at home in the year 3000. The unit is included in the MoMA’s “Design and the Elastic Mind” exhibition catalog, and boasts the ability to stretch and flex to almost any shape a user could think of. The nanotechnology-based device would deliver transparent electronics, self-cleaning surfaces, and the malleability to transform into any number of configurations. Of course, the actual technology required to put this together is years or even decades away, though Nokia expects to see some of these innovations making their way into high-end products within seven years. See the device doing its thing in some photos after the break.

Features of the Nokia Morph:

Flexible & Changing Design

Nanotechnology enables materials and components that are flexible, stretchable, transparent and remarkably strong. Fibril proteins are woven into a three dimensional mesh that reinforces thin elastic structures. Using the same principle behind spider silk, this elasticity enables the device to literally change shapes and configure itself to adapt to the task at hand.

A folded design would fit easily in a pocket and could lend itself ergonomically to being used as a traditional handset. An unfolded larger design could display more detailed information, and incorporate input devices such as keyboards and touch pads.

Even integrated electronics, from interconnects to sensors, could share these flexible properties. Further, utilization of biodegradable materials might make production and recycling of devices easier and ecologically friendly.

Self-Cleaning

Nanotechnology also can be leveraged to create self-cleaning surfaces on mobile devices, ultimately reducing corrosion, wear and improving longevity. Nanostructured surfaces, such as “Nanoflowers” naturally repel water, dirt, and even fingerprints utilizing effects also seen in natural systems.

Advanced Power Sources

Nanotechnology holds out the possibility that the surface of a device will become a natural source of energy via a covering of “Nanograss” structures that harvest solar power. At the same time new high energy density storage materials allow batteries to become smaller and thinner, while also quicker to recharge and able to endure more charging cycles.

Sensing The Environment

Nanosensors would empower users to examine the environment around them in completely new ways, from analyzing air pollution, to gaining insight into bio-chemical traces and processes. New capabilities might be as complex as helping us monitor evolving conditions in the quality of our surroundings, or as simple as knowing if the fruit we are about to enjoy should be washed before we eat it. Our ability to tune into our environment in these ways can help us make key decisions that guide our daily actions and ultimately can enhance our health.

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